Club History

The Pandani Bushwalking Club was formed at an inaugural meeting in the Battery Point Community Hall on 2 April 1992 and became a fully incorporated body on 19 June 1992. The club originated primarily from people who had been through the Adult Education ‘Introduction to Bushwalking’ course and who had continued to walk together as friends after completing the course.

The group had first formed in late 1988 and soon adopted the name of the ‘Survivors Bushwalking Group’. From an initial collection of about 15 people the group grew rapidly and by 1990 had produced its first printed program and organised in that year nine day walks, a weekend walk to Maria Island, a
snow camp and a number of socials. Membership continued to expand to embrace not only adult education participants but also anyone who wanted to join a small informal bushwalking group. In 1992 the need for a shorter, more appropriate name and liability considerations prompted the formation of the Pandani Bushwalking Club Inc.
Throughout the nineties Pandani continued to grow in both membership and in the range and number of activities. Rosemary Bruce, who also led Adult Education Classes in bushwalking, joined the club and created another stream of members for Pandani. Activities expanded to include cross- country skiing, mountain bike riding, dog walks, indoor rock climbing and evening sea kayaking. An annual Pandani Photographic Competition was introduced in 1999.
The late 1990’s also saw the beginning of extended summer trips to some of Tasmania’s more remote and challenging mountain areas; Precipitous Bluff and the Frankland, King William, and Western Arthur Ranges. By 2000, club membership had grown to approximately 250 and there were around 100 walks or associated activities on the program.
The first decade of the 21st century has been a period of both growth and consolidation. Keith Hewlett introduced the concept of mid-week walks to Pandani in 2001 and these have grown to be immensely popular. The club became involved in the wider bushwalking world and appointed representatives to the Tasmanian Federation of Bushwalking Clubs (now Bushwalking Tasmania). We have also participated in Search and Rescue activities, both in the training area and in Police searches for missing bushwalkers. In 2007 Pandani embraced modern electronic communication and offered members the choice of receiving the club program and newsletter by email at a reduced rate. In 2009 regular monthly social meetings were instituted to reinforce the walking experience and provide a range of guest speakers on subjects of interest to bushwalkers.
Pandani continues to evolve. Membership in 2012 is around 400. The last couple of years have seen a rapid growth in sea kayaking activities on the club program and last year we had our first formal snowshoeing trip. A group of club members are actively pursuing some of the harder and more remote trips while we retain plenty of easier trips on the program. The club now has a group page on Facebook. The future awaits!
The campsite at Lake Oenone in the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. Lake Oenone nestles between the two peaks of Mt Olympus and is ringed by Nothofagus Gunnii, more commonly called just 'fagus'. Found at elevations around 1200 metres in the western and southern mountains, fagus is Tasmania's only native deciduous tree and turns yellow to golden brown in mid to late autumn. [Photo Graham Wootton]